Bin worker assaulted – Slough Borough Council calls for respect

Slough Borough Council is calling on residents to be respectful of their refuse collectors following two workers being assaulted in the past month after they “refused to take contaminated recycling bins”, the council says.

The most recent assault took place on Wednesday 22 June, when a resident, upset about the recycling crew refusing to take their red bin due to contamination, first attempted to hit the refuse worker with a hockey stick and when that was unsuccessful, headbutted them.

The refuse worker suffered minor injuries and the assault has been reported to the police.

The previous assault also followed the refusal to take a contaminated recycling bin.

Councillor Mohammed Nazir, the lead member for transport and the local environment, said they “will not tolerate assaults”.

He said: “Like all public sector staff – including NHS staff, emergency services and staff across the council – the bin men are doing their jobs, trying to earn a living, in difficult circumstances and they do not deserve to be abused, verbally or physically.

“Luckily it is a minority of residents who verbally abuse our staff and even fewer ever take the step of a physical assault, but one is one too many and I would call on all residents to show respect to those who are continuing to provide vital services to Slough.”

Red recycling bins which contain incorrect items will not be taken, so the contamination does not spread to larger loads.

Loads which are contaminated can be rejected at the recycling plant and have to be treated like normal waste which costs the council more to dispose of.

The CIWM View

A spokesperson from the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM) said: “Dealing with contamination and providing advice and support to residents on what they can recycle is part of the role of recycling collectors today, and they should be able to do this without fear of aggression or violent behaviour.

“These key workers provide a crucial service and they should not have to face any sort of abuse. CIWM supports all the front line crews in being able to go about their daily collections in a safe manner and free from incidents like this one.”

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